Patio Jams to feature singer-songwriter’s All-American sound

Photo Courtesy

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy some warm and relaxing grooves from a good old Southern musician, check out Patio Jams at 12:15 p.m. Thursday at the Rathskeller.

Carey Murdock is a singer and songwriter making the trip down from Augusta, Ga., to the sweet, South Florida sunshine. Murdock, 26, has been doing music for the past 10 years of his life and has toured for the past five. He prides himself on his live circuits, as he and the band play more than 250 shows most years.

Murdock is a storyteller through and through. Drawing influence from legends such as Springsteen and Mellencamp, his songs tell personal stories of love and loss. He finds inspiration in his travels, but when he sits down to write, it’s usually a music-first process. According to Murdock, he plays around with an instrument until he finds something worth developing. Then, the ball really gets rolling when he can “find the lyric that fits the idea” he had been working with, he said.

Unlike so many acts today, Murdock’s focus is not fame. He hopes to keep his music true to its roots and its fans because, like so many of us, there have been records that have changed his life.

“[I’m] trying to give back to music what music has given me,” he said.

Murdock describes his sound as “heartland rock”, which is a pretty accurate description. It’s distinctly Americana in character­ – the kind of music you want to listen to as you crack open a beer and throw a burger on the grill.

Although Murdock’s studio records are full-band compositions, this Thursday it will only be Murdock at the Rat.

On the records, it’s usually a five-piece band: the classic, two guitar, bass, drums and keys setup. Murdock’s vocals are definitely the highlight of most of his music with his deep, smokey tambour. He’s a bit like Leonard Cohen, but more upbeat. A little like Mellencamp, but in a deeper register.

Even though his vocals are in the limelight on most tracks, Carey says he likes to let his fellow musicians shine through on at least a few tracks every record. Songs like “Southbound on the Train” are especially demonstrative of this, with cutting guitar riffs from Steven Bryant and very clean organ lines from Warren Brown.

Murdock’s forthcoming album, “Shot in the Dark,” is slated for release this summer, and Murdock says this will be even “roots-ier” than his previous work.